Geriatrics, a centenarian medical specialty <b>[Abstract in English]</b>

  • Rodolfo Herberto Schneider PUCRS
  • Carla Helena Augustin Schwanke PUCRS

Abstract

Aims: To commemorate the centennial of the geriatrics, the authors present a review of the population aging, the elderly individual, the characteristics of the geriatric medicine, and its history. Source of data: A throughout review of the literature found on MedLine and LILACS, as well as textbooks, dissertations, thesis, and government directives was performed. Summary of the findings: Geriatrics is the area of medicine that cares for the health and treatment of diseases in old age, which works with physical, mental, functional and social aspects in the acute, chronic, rehabilitative, preventive and palliative care of the elderly. Geriatrics goes beyond “medicine centered on organs and systems”, offering holistic treatment by interdisciplinary teams with the principal objective of optimizing functional capacity and improvement of quality of life and autonomy of the elderly, which make up the core of this medical specialty. Geriatrics, in daily assistance practice, works with particular questions such as: the heterogeneity of patients and of scenarios of care; concomitance of multiple diseases/disorders (plurimorbidity), including geriatric syndromes (“the giants of geriatrics”); difficulty of identifying all the problems (iceberg phenomenon); polypharmacy; fragility; vulnerability; the various losses that the elderly show; and terminality. Conclusions: Geriatrics refers to the medical specialty responsible for the clinical aspects of aging and for the various forms of health care necessary for the elderly. Because of the complexity allied to the aging process, geriatrics has become an intriguing, challenging and contemporaneous specialty.

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Author Biographies

Rodolfo Herberto Schneider, PUCRS
professor adjunto do Instituto de Geriatria e Gerontologia e do Programa de Pós-graduação em Gerontologia Biomédica da Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul
Carla Helena Augustin Schwanke, PUCRS
Graduação em Medicina pela Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (1994), mestrado em Clínica Médica - área de concentração em Geriatria pela Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (2000) e doutorado em Gerontologia Biomédica pela Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (2003). Atualmente é professor adjunto do Instituto de Geriatria e Gerontologia-PUCRS; coordenador adjunto da Comissão Científica do IGG-PUCRS; professor do Programa de Pós-graduação em Gerontologia Biomédica; professor do Curso de Especialização em Ciências da Saúde e do Desporto; professor do curso de especialização em Geriatria da PUCRS. Tem experiência na área de Medicina, com ênfase em Geriatria.
Published
2009-12-28
How to Cite
Schneider, R. H., & Schwanke, C. H. A. (2009). Geriatrics, a centenarian medical specialty <b>[Abstract in English]</b>. Scientia Medica, 19(4), 154-161. Retrieved from https://revistaseletronicas.pucrs.br/ojs/index.php/scientiamedica/article/view/6253
Section
Special Articles